Pain is the biggest issue that people with neuropathy complain about. Small fibers and nerves in your hands and feet can become damaged with prolonged untreated neuropathy, and this can lead to:
- burning pain radiating in hands or feet
- pins and needles in the extremities
- numbness, weakness, and tingling
- deadened nerves in fingers and toes
- a knotted feeling in the soles and palms
- pain from the lightest touches
- cramping of the feet
- fingers twisting and locking
- restless legs and feet
- pain from the pressure of walking
- balance problems
- inability to grasp with the hands
- pain when twisting the wrists
- hands and feet feeling tired or heavy
Small fiber neuropathy pain tends to be worse at night so this will make it more difficult to get a full night’s sleep which in and of itself causes other health problems and makes pain levels rise even more.
Diabetics are the most at-risk group for the development of neuropathy symptoms and pain. It has been estimated that between 20-30% of all diabetics experience diabetic neuropathy pain. Diabetic neuropathy is believed to be caused by the slower regeneration of nerve endings and connections throughout the body, but especially in the fine fibers of the hands and feet.
Other risk factors that increase the risk of neuropathy pain include certain medications, smoking, drinking, autoimmune disease, nerve damage or diseases, chemotherapy treatments, and other chronic health conditions.